My engine is ticking! Find out 3 possible reasons

Is your engine making a tick tick sound? A ticking sound can be annoying and attracts attention. However, there may be a problem with your engine or simply you just need a tune up! so let’s begin.

1.      Check your engine for adequate oil. A low oil level can cause ticking noises because the moving parts are not properly lubricated. Simply check the dip stick to ensure proper oil level. If the oil level is below the full marking, top off the engine more oil.

2.      Another possible reason is low oil pressure. Check if the oil check light is on. If the engine’s light is on, that means the vehicle has low oil pressure. To check this problem, take your car to the mechanic and have them check the condition of the oil pump. The oil pump may have failed and cause the low oil pressure.

3.      The third reason is a leaky exhaust manifold or a loose valve. This is a common problem in some older vehicle and surprisingly in new vehicles as well. A leaky manifold is due to a bad exhaust manifold gasket. Overtime the gasket loses its function due to rust, warp, and could no longer hold its shape. A leaky manifold can also be caused by cracks in the manifold. To fix this problem, replace the manifold gasket or replace the manifold if it is cracked.

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One Response to “My engine is ticking! Find out 3 possible reasons”

  1. This had to be written by a person with very little knowledge of an engine. In other words these “answers” you gave for a “ticking” noise is to vague. A ticking noise is usually the valve train in the engine, hydraulic lifters need oil to stay firm and not let the plunger sink causing the pushrods to sink with the plunger tapping it as it is moved up and down causing a ticking noise, now unless you have a bad lifter it should not cause a noise and actually be silent when in operation but if you rev the engine up it makes it harder for the lifter to receive the constant oil it needs to stay firm so any low oil situation could cause that.

    The fix is diagnosing which lifter it is and replacing the hydraulic lifter, I myself would replace all of them if I had the engine apart.

    Another reason is too much clearance in the wrist pin caused by excessive wear between the wrist pin hole in the connecting rod or bearing or the wrist pin itself. This usually makes a quick double “tick” noise which you can hear when the engine is idling, to fix this problem you should first measure clearances of the wrist pin bore and wrist pin itself and compare to OEM specifications, if out of spec replace wrist pin and connecting rod and while your in the engine you might as well replace the rest as well. Excessive clearance between the rocker arm and the top of the valve will usually cause a ticking noise and this is the most common problem you find with engines but the good thing is it is usually able to be fixed by adjusting the rocker arm and checking the clearance with a feeler gauge and adjusting to OEM specs.

    Always make sure your engine has the proper oil level & oil viscosity, and if you have a “low oil” pressure problem or assume you have one ALWAYS compare to OEM spec do not just take a look at your gauge which is electronic and fail more often then oil pumps ever will, I myself do not trust the gauges I would rather hook up a scan tool and observe the oil pressure the computer is seeing and not one displayed by a gauge.

    Also GM calls for at least 8psi of oil at 1000 RPM. That seems low but every manufacturer calls for different specs so always refer to OEM specs.